With Cataclysm leveling, when is the appropriate time to replace my gear? I worked really damn hard to get my gear where it is, and I would hate to have it replaced by green quality gear!
Guess what? For those of us that have been around since vanilla WoW, this is the third go-round in terms of gear replacement. Most of us simply shrug off the fact that gear will be replaced during leveling, and know that our Wrath gear served us well.
But that wasn’t always the case. I guarantee you, when Burning Crusade came out, I had those same exact fears. It took hours upon hours to get my gear where it was, and I hated the thought of some ugly green piece of gear only one level higher being a better option.
The simple truth is…it is what it is. That’s how these expansions work. New content brings new gear, which is often stronger than our current gear at much earlier levels.
So, when do I plan on replacing my current gear, which is a mix of 251 and 264? Well, my friends, I will replace each piece as soon as I see an upgrade.
Why I Recommend Replacing Gear
Unless you have Shadowmourne or some heroic 25-man ICC gear, plan on replacing your gear pretty quickly. Maybe not at 81, but at 82 and 83 you will start to see those pretty ICC drops dwindle into nothingness.
Tier gear is something most players hate to lose, but for us Ret Paladins, it shouldn’t be too hard. Tier bonuses are meant mainly for raiding. Sure, they have some benefit in leveling…but guys, leveling is all about burst damage, which we have tons of. Bonuses from Tier 10 aren’t going to make that much of a difference when killing Cataclysm trash.
Bottom line: If you see a piece of gear in Cataclysm with better stats than what you are wearing, probably going to be a good idea to switch while leveling. Where stats aren’t identical or can’t compare easily, try the gear out and see if it fits your leveling playstyle.
To leave you guys with an example, here are some BoE green quality two-handed axes from 78 to 85:
- Level 78 – [Steelspark Broadaxe] – 293.1 DPS
- Level 79 – [Angerfang Broadaxe] – 307.0 DPS
- Level 80 – [Nethergarde Broadaxe] - 324.7 DPS
- Level 81 – [Splinterspear Broadaxe] - 343.4 DPS
- Level 82 – [Mardenhold Broadaxe] - 359.7 DPS
- Level 83 – [Bladefist Broadaxe] - 380.4 DPS
- Level 84 – [Irontree Broadaxe] - 402.3 DPS
- Level 85 – [Rustmaul Broadaxe] - 425.4 DPS
Since we rely most heavily upon weapon DPS, let’s see where my current normal-Bryntroll fits in…294.8 DPS. According to the BoE GREENS, I will be replacing my weapon almost instantly. Doesn’t matter that I have Beserking on it, the higher damage is what I am going for.
The Cataclysm BoE lvl 79 axe has more dps than my Bryntroll…and for those that are wondering, Shadowmourne has 347.8 DPS. Now, I’d keep that until 85, but theoretically, you could replace it for higher raw DPS at level 82!